NC judges say sex offender social networking ban illegal - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

NC judges say sex offender social networking ban illegal

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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP/WBTV) -

A North Carolina appeals court panel says the state's requirement barring registered sex offenders from commercial social networking sites like Facebook is unconstitutional because it's vague and violates free speech.
 
That didn't sit well with Sarah LeGrand, a mom of two from Charlotte.

"That's alarming and disheartening," she said. "Especially as a parent."

A three-judge panel of the state court said Tuesday the 2008 law is too broad by denying the convicts the right to participate in a wide range of communications. The judges say the law is not narrowly written to prevent registered sex offenders from having contact with children.

Stephanie Lourmais is not a parent, but believes the safety of children is paramount.

"They can also mis-represent themselves to children and you know teenagers, kids and they don't know any better," she said. "Actually they can mis-represent themselves to any of us. You don't really know you're talking to."

The ruling came when the judges overturned the conviction of a Durham County man on the sex offender list. Authorities said he had created a Facebook profile page.
 
State attorneys could appeal the ruling to the state Supreme Court, but justices are not obligated to hear the case.
 
Copyright 2013 WBTV. The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved.

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